OnlyFans' New Ban Shocks the Internet

Sexually explicit content will no longer be allowed starting in October
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2021 1:54 AM CDT
Updated Aug 20, 2021 5:00 AM CDT
OnlyFans' New Ban Shocks the Internet
This photo shows a phone app for OnlyFans, a site where fans pay creators for their photos and videos, Thursday Aug. 19, 2021.   (AP Photo/Tali Arbel)

OnlyFans will ban sexually explicit content starting in October, an announcement that led to quite a few tweets like this one from George Takei: "Overheard: Only Fans to ban sexually explicit videos. In other news, McDonald’s will stop selling burgers and fries and will only serve salads." Many, many people on Twitter are similarly observing that the site is bound to lose quite a few of its more than 130 million users, and are expressing shock at the decision as well as confusion about what exactly will become of the site. The subscription fan pages featured on the site are largely geared toward adult content, Variety reports; NBC News says the site was "built on sex."

Alas, the UK-based company says, such content will soon be prohibited "to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers." However, nudity will still be allowed as long as it abides by the site's Acceptable Use Policy. A new version of the policy is coming, but has not yet been released, Axios reports, and it's not clear where the line will be drawn between acceptable nudity and explicit content. Many were expressing outrage: "OnlyFans would be nothing without the sex workers whose labor built it up into a major platform. Now it’s tossing them aside," tweeted journalist Kim Kelly.

Artists including Cardi B, Bella Thorne, Tyga, Amber Rose, Blac Chyna, and Trey Songz also use the site, where fans can subscribe and pay for their content, and some on Twitter were pointing out that some OnlyFans users do enjoy supporting them. But the decision largely led to an outcry, with many pointing out how problematic this is for both the livelihood of sex workers and Internet freedom in general. "This is devastating for a new generation of adult creators who have used the platform, and others like it, to build businesses, profit off of their own work and achieve independence," a spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition says. (More OnlyFans stories.)

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